Parenting Tips for Infants

Parenting Tips for Infants

The excitement of bringing your child in this world knows no bounds. It is natural that every parents would want to have everything in place before their child is born. From the time of birth to the first few months while the parents are fascinated by the new walk of life, there can be times when they get scared or need guidance to bring up their child in a way they desire. Thinking of the biggest challenge parents face is understanding expressions and actions of their child and ways to communicate with them. A major part of this initial phase goes in playing guess games to understand the needs of their child.  

Here are some effective tips to understand their child’s needs. These tips can help you communicate better with them, feed them what’s right, and most importantly how to love and care for them.

Also Read: Communication Skill Development Activity for Newborns

0-6 Month Milestones for Babies

As your baby grows, you can understand a lot about your child by the way they move, speak, act, play or communicate.. Milestones are basically these physical and behavioral attributes of a child that reflect their growth pattern.

Here, we have classified these skills and attributes under five categories. 

  • Gross Motor Skills: Refer to the babies’ use of large muscles to stand, sit, and walk.
  • Fine Motor Skills: Refer to their small muscles that they use to perform hand-eye coordinated activities like holding a toy.
  • Communication and Listening Skills: Refer to their new sounds and responses through gestures to what you say.
  • Social and Emotional Skills: Refer to their ability to identify known faces, react to their image in the mirror, etc. 
  • Cognitive Skills: Refer to their ability to understand, learn, and solve problems, such as refusing to eat by closing their mouth and putting things in their mouth to explore them.

Now the question would be when can parents observe these changes in their babies? So, here is the age-wise classification in terms of the different skills mentioned above.

1. By the First Month

Gross Motor: Babies lift their heads while lying down on their tummies.

Fine Motor: They relax their fists, gaze at particular objects, watch faces, and search for and take feed from a bottle or directly from the mother.

Communication and Hearing: They react to different kinds of noises and sounds. They also seek attention and communicate by crying or smiling when they are happy 

Social and Emotional: Babies start bonding with their parents, especially mothers. They also begin recognizing their mother.

Cognitive: Babies try to follow the movement of bright objects. For example, the movement of the fan.

2. By the Second Month

Gross Motor: Babies can now lift their chest up while lying on their tummy. They can also bob their head vertically  and sit with support. 

Fine Motor: They curiously watch your hands as you give them oil massages, hold toys for them, and open their fists most of the time. Some babies also suck their thumbs.

Communication and Hearing: They make better noises and stare at people when they talk. They also respond to your voice with a smile, tears, or coo.

Social and Emotional: When you smile at them they smile back. And, when they’re irritated or need attention, you just need to pick them up to calm them down.. 

Cognitive: Babies can track the simple movement of objects, like your hand moving up and down. They also become more alert and show interest in things around them.

3. By the Third Month

Gross Motor: Babies gain better control over their heads when sitting. They can also rest their heads on their hands while lying on their tummy.

Fine Motor: They use their hands to hit objects, and start to follow objects in a circular pattern, etc. 

Communication and Hearing: They chuckle and try to echo sounds made by others. 

Social and Emotional: You notice variations and patterns in their cries when they are hungry, hurt, need cuddling, etc. They look for comfort when uneasy, stare at you, maintain eye contact, and express excitement by shaking their hands and legs.  

Cognitive: Their viewing abilities improve; they start looking at objects more clearly in front of them.

Also Read: Baby Feeding Guide for Parents: First Three Months

4. By the Fourth Month

Gross Motor: Babies learn to roll their bodies from front to back and their heads in straight alignment with the body, even when you hold them.

Fine Motor: They move their hands, try to hold toys, and tightly grab them while lying on their backs. 

Communication and Hearing: They learn to laugh out loud, move their body in the direction of a voice, make clearer noises, and try to listen when others speak.

Social and Emotional: At this age, they recognize their mothers.

Cognitive: Their sense of understanding increases. They reach for familiar objects and try to identify them.

5. By the Fifth Month

Gross Motor: Babies learn to roll their bodies from back to front while lying and lift their heads when seated.

Fine Motor: They learn to move toys/objects from one hand to another. 

Also Read: 15 DIY Kid Friendly Activities for Toddlers

Communication and Hearing: They respond to themselves in front of mirrors, make raspberry sounds, and try to mimick a person’s voice. 

Social and Emotional: They learn to smile spontaneously.

Cognitive: They can hold a dangling object and curiously observe small things, especially if they are moving.

6. By the Sixth Month

Gross Motor: Babies learn to sit with support. Some may even sit or lie down with the help of their hands.

Fine Motor: They improve their hand synchronization.

Communication and Hearing: They babble and pronounce a few words you say in front of them. 

Social and Emotional: They prefer being around particular people, get upset when they cannot find their mothers, and smile more often, especially at familiar faces. They can also hold their feeding bottle. 

Cognitive: Their focus increases. They look at the floor when they drop objects. 

Not all babies show the same changes according to the milestones. Some grow faster and some take longer to grasp these skills. 

When raising a superstar, your true dedication, attention and care are most important. At this time, even if you are required to reduce your sleep to make your little one comfortable, it is not something that bothers you. The only thing that matters to you is your munchkin’s happiness and smile. Even if you’ve had a tiring day at home, your child’s voice, cuddle and touch can turn that fatigue into relaxation. Therefore, these tips can help them to understand parenting better and make the necessary arrangements for their bundle of joy. 

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